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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Happy Birthday, Babies

T'was a huge weekend. My Tax Deduction the Younger turned 2, and my Tax Deduction the Elder is turning 4, so we threw a joint birthday party on Sunday. Seven children running around, diapers and under garments optional, screaming like banshees. Seven adults, watching, dazed, as their Precious Joys morphed into Holy Terrors. In other words, it was Miller Time. Or, in my case, Smirnoff Triple Ice Time.

Lots of good, clean fun, thanks to the kiddie pools. Tax Deduction the Younger (TDTY) does a mean cannonball, and Tax Deduction the Elder (TDTE) practiced his belly slides into the water. No broken bones, no blood, no trips to the ER. Say it with me: a huge success.

How do you bribe a group of children (ages 2 - 5) to settle down? Promise them ice-cream cake. And, note, when you promise said cake, you should make sure that it's already out of the freezer and soft enough to cut and serve. (Did you know that children under 6 have very little patience when their parents are busy hacking through a solid block of tasty ice-cream goodness?) TDTE and TDTY blew out their candles, cake was served, and the sugar rush began in earnest. Did I mention Miller Time?

The Ritual of Opening the Gifts was terrific, and a group project. Shockingly, said group of Children Under Six Years have little patience for watching their peers open gifts that are just begging to be opened, played with, and smashed into a million pieces. I have to admit, I was thrilled that TDTE loved his new Jedi Lightsabers that Loving Husband and I bought him. But then he didn't want to open the other present we had for him, because that meant putting down the weapon and losing it to his eager, grabby peers.

"Tax Deduction," I said, "put down your lightsaber and open your last gift."


"Don't you want another present?" I asked, certain that I had him at that one.

"No! I don't want another present!"

((blink)) "Tax Deduction, don't you know that all children want presents?"

"I want to punch the bad guys' heads off!" ((SWISH goes the light saber))

Note to self: Giving a weapon to a four year old for his birthday is one of the stupidest things you could do, but you will be the coolest parent on earth. At least, until you have to take away said weapon to avoid possible decapitation.

Book Buzz of the Day
Marvel: 1602 by Neil Gaiman. Okay, I'm not buzzing this because it's written by my god of writing. I'm buzzing it because my god of writing is a freakin' genius. This is a brilliant book, and as a bonus it's beautifully illustrated. If you have ever read a Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, or X-Men title, pick up this hardcover graphic novel. You won't be sorry.

Jackie's Submission Update
Gah, this is a depressing business. Let's see. In no particular order:

Agent rejections: One, on the partial of the GAN. Crap.

Agent requests: One, asking for the first 100 pages of CHARLES. Hooray!

Editor rejections on short stories: Two. One, a horror story, was "creative," but the editor decided to pass. At least he invited me to submit new material, which is always better than a request to never contact the editor again. The other, a YA fantasy, was, er, too trite for the editor. Crap.

Editor requests for a rewrite: One. This is for a story that I know in my heart is a good one...and this particular editor agrees. She thinks that the story is either too long, or possibly too short, but it doesn't work as is, although the ending she adores and the overall premise she loves. So she said I could consider this a "quasi-commission" and asked for a rewrite. Hey, you betcha! ((rubbing hands over the possibility of a pro-rate sale))

Sales: None. Crap.

Number of other authors I know who received an offer of agent representaiton in the last week: Three. And I'm happy for all of them, and bitterly jealous and ready to throw myself off a high ledge. Except I have this thing about heights. Maybe I'll just trip down the porch steps and call it a day.


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